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  • Every new watch is like a new piece of art

  • It has a different story to tell

  • It's a very interesting thing about watches

  • on the one hand you have a high precision device

  • and the other thing is

  • they have to be hand finished

  • which is very related to arts and crafts

  • You have these two worlds in one watch

  • both the aesthetical aspect of it

  • and the mechanical aspect of it

  • Here we are at Arnold and Son

  • in our premises at La Chaux-de-Fonds

  • where we manufacture all of our watches

  • Arnold and Son refers to John Arnold

  • who was one of the biggest and most important

  • watchmaker who ever lived

  • he invented a lot of technical solutions

  • still in use today

  • The aim of the modern company

  • to innovate and to continue his legacy

  • but in a contemporary, new manner

  • The idea is really to continue the story more than to repeating it

  • First with the design team

  • we design how the watch should look like

  • The size it should have, the thickness

  • you have to have a kind of mechanical harmony

  • is it good looking or not

  • and when we are happy with the new complications

  • and we think the watch has something new

  • then we create basically the inner works which will make the aesthetic happen

  • The first thing you have to do is to order the right material

  • because we use a lot of different materials into mechanical movement

  • going from brass over steel up to titanium or gold

  • and you need a specific material for every different part of it

  • once you have the raw material

  • you start really making the components

  • We have different kinds of raw materials going to different workshops

  • for depending on the part you want to make

  • If you want to do watchmaking on super high level

  • you need extremely skilled and specifically trained people

  • we have more than thirty different job descriptions

  • purely different educations

  • and you find these educations, these training

  • only in this region

  • because nowhere else in the world you need such kind of know how

  • Working with tiny parts is a challenge because tiny parts makes very small tolerances

  • We are working in micron tolerances

  • so you cannot do anything without good tooling

  • We have in house a tool making department

  • which makes from the little screwdriver the watchmaker needs

  • up to a stamping tool which takes months of development

  • The reason why we do all our tooling in house

  • because if you're not mastering your tools, you're not mastering the part you want to produce

  • Once all the parts are cut with machinery, they go to be cleaned

  • They're submitted o quality control, who decides if the part is good enough

  • to continue to the decoration workshop

  • Different kind of traditional movement decorations are applied

  • from geneva stripes, satin finish. Depending on the component

  • Is a mechanical watch you buy today is not a leading technology anymore

  • It's really crafts and arts

  • You are not racing for technological breakthrough

  • you are more racing for making more spectacular watches

  • You build a very different relation to a mechanical watch than you do to an electronic device

  • because the day you buy it you know that the next one will come

  • and that you will swap it for getting the better one

  • With a mechanical watch it's really the object as a physical object

  • of all the hand work which make it special and unique

  • That's makes I think a big difference to something more on the electronic side

  • Once these parts have been decorated they are quality checked again

  • to see if the decoration hasn't affected the functional aspect of it

  • That's always a bit if a trick you have to decorate but not deteriorate the part

  • They go to be preassembled in a specific workshop before going to the watchmakers

  • set stones for instance into main plates. Put axis onto wheels

  • and once all these parts have been preassembled, they arrive to the watchmaker who does the final assembly

  • The watchmaker gets all the little parts in little boxes

  • starts taking the main plate which is the base on everything gets built on

  • adding the wheels which is all on axis

  • put different bridges holding all different wheels in place

  • You have to add all the winding mechanism because you want to be able to wind your watch

  • put a dial on it then you put hands

  • and one last thing which we add always at the end is the escapement

  • which is basically the heart of any mechanical watch, it's also

  • what you hear when your listening to a mechanical watch when you hear the tick tock

  • It's the very first time you will see and hear your watch moving

  • Starting from the simple beating, it's a long process going to a highly accurate mechanical watch

  • You cannot just put the parts together and expect the watch to tell perfect time

  • We are checking the watches for 600 hours on different vibration and other machines

  • to get really sure that everything is ok

  • can be just s little tiny dust, you don't see it when you put it together

  • but when you move the watch it can a fild of the movement

  • So this process is pretty pretty long but this is what the complexity of such a mechanical device requests

  • Once that you've seen that the accuracy of the movement is good, you put it into a watch case

  • which will protect the movement

  • you add the bracelet, and the buckle and you have a watch

  • Watches are most of the time perceived as a time capsule

  • It's really something which are still built today as it used to be for the last centuries

  • It's nice also for people to be able to buy something

  • which has always existed and probably will always exist as a form of art

Every new watch is like a new piece of art

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B1 US mechanical movement arnold aspect device put

The Painstaking Art of Luxury Watchmaking

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/27
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